This blog originates on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, in Louisiana. It proposes to share the things that happen on and by the river as the seasons progress. As the river changes from quiet, warm, slow flow to rises of eighteen feet or more, there are changes in the lives of the birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles that use the river. And the mood of the river changes with the seasons. I propose to note and comment on these things.

My Photo
Location: Butte La Rose, Louisiana, United States

I transitioned a few years ago from a career as a water-pollution control biologist. I want to do this blog to stay in touch with a world outside my everyday surroundings, whatever they may be. I like open-minded company and the discussion of ideas. Photo by Brad Moon.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Cold Morning

It was cold on the river this morning, and foggy. Rusty and his crew (of two) from Simmesport were out there at 7:00 am, all wearing slicker suits of various mix and don’t-match pieces. Anything to keep the wind off of you. The temperature was 38 degrees. Sure glad I don’t have to do that, sure wish I did. Funny, hunh? One memory of how cold your hands get, especially with the wind blowing, is enough to make me not wish too hard for a return to the good old days. Still, the discomfort seems to be the first memory to fade, leaving the good times to keep you company. Self deception or self protection or just plain denial, I’m not sure which. The picture is actually Rusty’s boat in the fog this morning. Click on the picture to get a better look. They were picking up their nets and taking them away to someplace else. I don’t know where.

One of the early signs of spring is the onset of dewberry blooms. I still can’t believe we won’t get a hard freeze before spring comes. Both of my mulberry trees are in full bloom already, and they got fooled like this last year. We got almost no mulberries because of a late freeze. I hear that people are planting tomato seeds, so the fever has started – the can’t-keep-my-hands-out-of-the-dirt fever. Good for them. Maybe I can trade some catfish for some homegrown tomato plants this year.

The river is at 7.0 this morning on the Butte La Rose gauge. It is still falling, to 5.0 in the next four days. Now I have to shovel off all the sediment that covers the parts of the dock that were covered by the little rise we had. The Mississippi and Ohio are rising minimally, no drama there.

Rise and shine, Jim


Blogger Randy said...

I believe your trade is in the works.. both Jody and I have you on our tomato plant list. Jody's plants are up and mine are (hopefully) a few days behind.... Isn't it a bit early for dewberry flowers? My oldest daughter and I used to pick dewberries most every year. Now that she is married our dewberry picking is at lower priority. Anyway, I recall that in a normal year dewberries flower in March and seem to reach peak ripening during the last week of April and first week of May -- which is also happens to be the peak of crawfish season in my book.

February 21, 2006 10:05 AM  
Blogger jim said...

Oh, oh, pressure time. Now I have to produce some catfish. Well, there is a little time yet, unless the dirt farmers want to be paid in advance. It is a little early for dewberry flowers, but this year it's a little early for everything, isn't it? I still can't believe it won't freeze and make everything start over.

February 21, 2006 3:04 PM  

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